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Scientist discover gene that regulates life span

  1. Dec 27, 2005 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 28, 2005 #2

    arildno

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    Yeah, sure. I have nothing but contempt for biologists doing this type of shoddy work. Processes like "ageing" and lifespan is, at this time, way too complex to be handled properly from a scientific point of view.
    To get some silly correlations is not the same as elucidating mechanisms.
     
  4. Dec 28, 2005 #3
    :biggrin: :biggrin: Congratulations on 5,000 posts!1!!:biggrin: :biggrin:
     
  5. Dec 28, 2005 #4

    arildno

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    Thanks. :grumpy:
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2005
  6. Dec 28, 2005 #5

    Monique

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    Some silly correlation?
    This is how science is done, you permutate the system and observe what happens. Players in a pathway have been found, now it is their task to find out exactly how the pathway work.
     
  7. Dec 28, 2005 #6

    arildno

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    It remains to be seen whether this particular find has more substance than, say, the brouhahas over telomeres and free radicals, to mention two previous, dumb research lines .
     
  8. Dec 28, 2005 #7

    Monique

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    dumb, right, you never know what the impact will be of research findings. For instance, telomeres of tumor cells shorter faster than other cells because of the number of divisions they undergo. Such tumor cells produce telomerase to elongate their telomeres, anti-telomerase therapy would directly target tumor cells. Dumb? Same with free radicals, people get ill when they can't inactivate them.
     
  9. Dec 28, 2005 #8

    arildno

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    Both have been trumpeted as the holy grail in understanding processes of aging.
    Neither is, nor is the new find that.

    Doesn't mean you can't make good science out of any of those finds.
     
  10. Dec 28, 2005 #9
    Why do trees live longer than humans ?

    What do you genius mad life scientists plan to do about y/our aging bodies which will eventually die ?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 28, 2005
  11. Dec 28, 2005 #10
    That is indeed the question. The fact that many species tend to die of old age around different "set" life times that seem to depend on the species (very few humans live to be over one hundred and none of us have lived to be thousands of years old like some trees for example) does point towards the conclusion that "death" might be programmed into the DNA in some way (as opposed to a strictly random occurance...if it was random, theoretically some humans could live to be thousands of years old but there is no evidence in many trillions of examples of this occuring).

    So now scientists search for the mechanism in the genetic code, and here is one more *possibility.* I don't think the article made any bold statements like "we have narrowed down exactly what causes aging" so much as it stated that we did this experiment and we found something that might be worth investigating. That's how science works, you have to report stuff and let people try experiments to see if there is any legitimacy to it. If a lot of other experiments are resolved and all evidence points in the same direction maybe 20 years from now it will show up in a science book?
    Nothing. The problem has never been the scientists themselves ya know, in the middle ages it was always the "kings" that hired the scientists to search for the secret of immortality (so that they themselves could rule forever and avoid death). Chemisty for example, was originally created by "alchemists" who were trying to figure out what it is that made "Gold" unreactive (in ancient times it was thought that since Gold didn't observably degrade in the same way that things like Iron did, that it holded some secret to immortality which is why all the rich people would quite literally "treasure" it...as it was a symbol of stability, permanence, and immortality). Of course, the alchemists failed in their attempt to "transform" Iron into Gold and now we know that Gold isn't as unreactive as people once thought anyways. Moral of the story: Who is to say *what* the end result of the search for the death gene will be? Either way, don't shoot the messenger, curiosity is one of the few "noble" things that humanity still has left :wink:
     
  12. Dec 29, 2005 #11

    Monique

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    Thank you Renge Ishyo, nice post. I wonder what arildno comments would be on scientists looking for particles jumping to other dimensions, useless experiments or trying to get to know the system?

    Blame the media for over-stating scientific results, if some physicist finds a particle that traveled to another dimension the media will immediately pick up and start talking about humans travelling in such a way, I'm sure.
     
  13. Jan 7, 2006 #12

    Curious3141

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    Exactly. When I was reading that thread slamming Popular Science, I was thinking how popular media was far more culpable in killing science by gross misrepresentations and hype.

    We need a group of researchers working on the best way to shut reporters up. :biggrin:
     
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